Fashion greats throughout the times agree: it’s the details that make the outfit. Timeless and effortless accessories are every bit as important as the centrepieces of the look. And few things add elegance like finishing off your outfit with a chic watch.
Stylish vegan watches are real unicorns: avoiding the cheap plastic, the tacky colours and the ever-present bits of leather is a jungle. That’s why Laura Stageman decided to create beautiful vegan watches that respect animals and your wardrobe. Her new company Votch, a portmanteau of “vegan” and “watch,” sells well-designed watch faces complete with vegan faux leather bands.
Votch watches come in five colours and 10% of each sale goes to a different charity every three months. Votch’s first benefactor is the vegan awareness and advocacy nonprofit organisation Viva. You can choose from tan with a white face and gold case, and black with a white face and gold case, pastel pink with a white face and rose gold case, light grey with a white face and silver case, and dark grey on black. The watch piece itself incorporates high-quality Japanese movement with mineral crystal glass. All watches come with stainless steel casing and come in their own vegan eco-felt pouch.
The quality of each Votch watch shows in the meticulous attention to detail. The watch faces have the Votch logo tastefully stamped in black, and the clasps have a tiny engraved V logo. Each band has VEGAN LEATHER pressed into the underside. The delicate hands and lack of numbers effuse modern minimalist sensibilities. This is the perfect everyday accessory for professional and casual settings.
The inspiration for Votch came when Laura suffered unexpectedly from topical steroid withdrawal. The syndrome was the result of her body detoxing from an over-subscription of steroid creams to treat eczema. During this time, Laura was confined to a bathtub from up to 20 hours per day as her skin regenerated. She took the down time to delve into an issue she already cared deeply about: animal rights.
Laura was already a longtime vegetarian, but after watching several documentaries — notably Cowspiracy and Vegucated — she decided to become vegan. Her commitment didn’t stop at food. After learning about the leather industry, she began thinking about ways to remove animal products from all aspects of her life. But it wasn’t easy.
“I felt like I was in this world where no one cared. I realised that I had to do something,” Laura recalls of this time in her life. She began thinking about what she could do to help. At the time she was working as a commercials TV producer. When she returned to work, she purchased a Matt & Nat bag and had it delivered to her office. When it arrived, she showed it off to her colleagues. Amazed, one coworker remarked how difficult it was to find a vegan items of that high quality. She talked about her difficulty finding a vegan leather watch.
Around the same time, Laura’s old watch strap broke. Soon Laura found herself scouring the internet looking for vegan watches. What she found surprised her. She came up empty handed. Frustrated but undeterred, Laura decided to make her own vegan watch. The idea for Votch was born.
“When I look at leather watch straps, all I can see is the pain and suffering behind them, as with all leather products” Laura says. With Votch, Laura is reducing animal suffering by providing vegan alternatives to a commonly purchased fashion item. Votch makes it easy to care about animals while still looking smart.
Laura doesn’t plan on stopping. Votch is currently launching with a pre-order of 500 watches that will ship worldwide next month. In the near future, the company also has plans to expand their line to include innovative and emerging vegan materials from plant based leathers.
Claim one before they’re all gone and Votch yourself.